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India has as much political turmoil as the US: ‘Avatar’ star

Nov 10, 2017
By Sugandha Rawal - New Delhi, Stephen Lang, famous as Colonel Miles Quaritch of “Avatar” and the blind man from “Don’t Breathe”, feels the “exotic image of India” is a cliche formed by cinema. The American actor, who has never been to the country, says India also has “got as much political turmoil as the US does”.

“The closest that I have been to India is Sri Lanka, but I certainly hope to get to India. The way my life has progressed, I have always waited for a job to bring me somewhere and generally it does,” Lang told IANS over phone from New York.

“Up till now, I have not been to India, but I certainly hope to get there because I am very interested in it. My father used to tell me (many) stories (about India). My father used to travel to India all the time for business,” he added.

So does he still carry the image of India as his father painted, or has it changed?

“The first image that I have is (that it is) quite exotic as a country -- very, very different from mine. I am talking about childhood images where it is all part of the Raj (British Raj), and I think it is a lot based on what I saw in cinema which is, of course, incredibly cliched and incorrect,” said the 65-year-old.

Now, he thinks India is a “technologically-oriented place”.

“And a crowded place. A place which has got as much political turmoil as the US does or anywhere else does, but also a culturally rich and very diverse place with some of the best food in the world for sure,” he added.

Before heading to showbiz, the New York-born Lang showed his acting skills on stage and received attention with Broadway plays -- which later paved the way for him into the TV industry.

His portrayal in Broadway play “Death of a Salesman” led him to its TV version. Lang’s resume is full of credible projects like “Gettysburg”, “Public Enemies”, “Conan the Barbarian” and “Tombstone”.

His roles as antagonist in James Cameron’s film and “Don’t Breathe”, which was aired in India on Sony PIX, have earned him fame as well as critical acclaim. Sony Pictures Entertainment’s “Don’t Breathe”, directed by Fede Álvarez, focused on three friends who get trapped inside a blind man’s house while breaking into it.

Lang, who is set to reprise his character in the upcoming parts of “Avatar”, says the sequel of “Don’t Breathe” can go in lots of direction.

“I have a feeling that it will go in an unexpected direction... I am very curious... If the sequel script has the same kind of effect on me as the original script had, I will be very enthusiastic about it because I was very impressed with the first script.

“The sequel (should) not only be as good as the original but go beyond it in some way and expand the world and make it even more interesting.”

“But I do believe that the extension could be very surprising.”

At present, the actor is working on “Mortal Engines”, being produced by Peter Jackson and helmed by Christian Rivers.

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